29. Shadows (1959)
Influential, how? The godfather of indie.
Actor John Cassavetes resolved to make a movie his way, on the streets of New York, with friends and acting students, and money raised by public donation.
The result was as fresh and alive as the bebop he used to score it.
Money shot: The end title card - “The movie you have just seen was an improvisation…”
30. Room At The Top (1959)
Influential, how? Class becomes an issue.
With its grimy canals and sexual frankness, Jack Clayton’s film kick-started the Brit New Wave.
Laurence Harvey’s slimy social climber set the pattern for a gallery of class-conscious protagonists in a whole decade of British movies.
Money shot: Harvey, preparing for his wedding, overhears people describing his lover’s agonising death.
31. Breathless (1960)
Influential, how? Jumping to the next level.
The French New Wave found its most revolutionary expression in this debut feature from critic Jean-Luc Godard.
Francois Truffaut provided the basic story outline about a young hoodlum (Jean-Paul Belmondo) and his doomed relationship with an American girl (Jean Seberg) in Paris, but it was Godard who shook up the system with jerky jump-cut rhythms, handheld camera work and a penchant for mixing lofty dialogue with low-brow action.
For once, the artist didn’t hide behind the story – Godard invited the audience right behind the looking glass.
Money shot: Belmondo draws his thumb across his lip in homage to Humphrey Bogart. Cinema enters its self-conscious stage.
32. Psycho (1960)
Influential, how? Horror comes home.
In many ways, the first truly modern American film: Hollywood movies lost their innocence here, in the shower with the shockingly brutal rubbing-out of the picture’s apparent star.
In 1960, many critics were appalled by what Time called “one of the messiest, most nauseating murders ever filmed”.
These days, it seems relatively discreet, but overwhelmingly sad – not least because it inaugurated the mostly shabby serial depravities of the slasher film.
It was also a radical rethink for Hitchcock, a low-budget black-and-white movie with no frills.
Money shot: The shower scene, with its multiple cuts, chocolate-sauce blood and implicit nudity.